I’d been wondering what had happened to Kelefa Sanneh. I was often at odds with his music criticism in the New York Times, but his tenure as a New Yorker staff writer has surprisingly moved to serious journalism, an escape most music writers never manage. Many never make it stick, either, so the verdict remains partially out. But his article on Pastor Jeremiah Wright clarifies the complicated history of Trinity Church and its unique differences with other Christian religions, especially in the African American community. It’s also a good portrait of Wright who, despite his statements run by Bill “Willie Horton Lives” O’Reilly by the hour, is a man of significant positives, like getting an HIV cheek-swab at the pulpit and vocally supporting gay rights. Sanneh also seems to be an insider, not just because he doesn’t stick out like I would in a Trinity congregation (although some in my family wouldn’t) but because he’s fluent in not only Chicago’s odd history of religious foment but also this entire country’s: he last wrote about Dr. Creflo Dollar, the Atlanta-based (says me) pop-Christianity equivalent of prosperity cults like Soka Gakkai International, who like to think they’re Nichiren Buddhists, when they’re not pyramid-scheming membership dues.
But then: Semiotics. 50$ says that was Sanneh’s major.
More importantly or, as adverbs go on blogs, humorously: Myspace begins to eat record labels alive. Amazing to me that the major labels don’t see this as myspace’s takeoff-platform for eventually having in place a framework for artists to sell their music through one label: myspace. More likely, myspace is looking to compete with Live Nation (“Additional products like tickets, T-shirts, ring tones and other music merchandise will also be available”) and this is the first step. At their ad revenue, they probably can, although Myspace CEO Chris DeWolfe has got to ditch the web-bubble-speak he’s lifted directly from 1997-2001, or he’s going down just by dint of superstition: ” ‘It’s the full 360-degree revenue stream,’ Mr. DeWolfe said.”
Step into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.
Jandek – The Fly
(this is absolutely awesome. It’ll make people leave your house or get you laid, but never in between, and both are pretty good depending on your mood.)